Ben 10 UA Comic Creator
Clearly describe the business issue, marketing or communication challenge facing the brand. Include an explanation of the underlying cause or likely consequence of the situation. Example: “low awareness” would not sufficiently explain a marketing challenge. “Low awareness leading to declining viewership” would be a more informative description.
Hint: Consider the business environment at that time: what happened or was going on that may have had a negative impact on the brand? What did the brand stand to lose? What changes in the industry or with competitors did the brand want to take advantage of?
Please complete this section by stating the objective in one concise sentence.
Ben 10 is a leading brand on Cartoon Network as well as an internationally successful licensing property and franchise. With the launch of the 3rd series, Ben 10 Ultimate Alien, marketing have faced two main challenges:
Viewer retention, diminishing the threat of growing tired of the show, switching to another or newer series;
Expansion of fan base, creating a new generation of fans.
Given how saturated and highly competitive the kids TV market, our aim was also to avoid the usual tune-in type campaign. We wanted to create a highly engaging platform that would allow in-depth interaction and play a central role in the 360 type campaign bringing together all channels of communication.
Use the launch of a new season of Ben 10 to extend the brand’s longevity which would translate into ratings, online traffic and sale of licensed product and be easily adopted across 6 different markets and languages.
Objectives and target group
Briefly describe the target group and how their perceptions, attitudes or behaviors changed as a result of your marketing activity or communications. Judges will need to see a concise description that includes more than demographic details.
Hint: Consider why this audience thinks and behaves the way they do: what new needs or desires did they express? What was the single most important aspect of their behavior that your marketing or communications needed to address?
Our core CN/Ben 10 audience is boys 6-9, though extending reach to a slightly older audience due to the nature of the site and the new series to 6-11+.
This age group is tech savvy, very active and critical, and constantly demands something new. They are interactive, competitive, like to play and enjoy challenges.
As this is the 3rd series, the Ben 10 fans are growing up so we have to address a specific need from the consumer: rewarding loyalty to the brand and engaging their knowledge built over previous series as well as providing advanced entertainment.
Another challenge is attracting girls: The creative element and specific inclusion of Gwen (Ben’s cousin) was to enforce the inclusivity factor – something we are very keen on, especially in the digital sphere.
Provide details of the plan developed to address the situation. Include, if possible, an explanation of how the plan was conceived and why it was believed it would succeed. Judges will need to understand the thinking behind why this plan was chosen as the best strategy.
Hint: Think about the benefits of the new launch or relaunch: were there any value-added features that worked to make this the most effective strategy? Did your plan focus on a unique opportunity that led to measurable results? How did this strategy address the audience’s perceptions, attitudes or behaviors?
The need: Launch the new series of Ben 10 so that it delivers the most uplift at all levels and doesn’t break the bank (!)
Thinking behind it: Our starting point was that the new season was already a 3rd series of Ben 10 which was well loved and viewed and already a big business for Turner. We wanted to do something that would bring additional value for those who helped us make the series a hit: its loyal fans. We still needed to promote on-air times but didn’t feel it was enough to build the whole campaign around that element since it wasn’t a new property and its strength was in building on the knowledge that was already in the market.
Concept development: We looked at the market and searched for a missing digital activity and found our niche. Anything similar was either dull, or cross brand and lacking narrative. Our aim was not only to use a great brand and create a fun digital toy, but also to build something kids could engage with and use from the perspective of lateral thought. The resulting element was the Comic Creator - one (and first) of its kind within our market. The application allowed departing from a traditional ATL-heavy tune-in promotion and became a focal point for the communication.
Incentive: We felt that except for the main benefit of the campaign which was viewing of the new Ben 10 adventures, we need special prizes in the Comic Creator competition. They were to become an important incentive in this campaign as they offered money-can’t-buy value. Being recognized for achievements and “published” is what kids want – based on our experience with many a previous competition. Comic Creator offered winners their own publication in widely-distributed magazines and tapped into that aspiration. Exclusive Ben 10 products that can’t be bought offered a tangible item rewarding kids’ affection for the brand.
Execution and implementaion
Provide details about the execution and delivery of your strategy. Judges will be looking to see how the situation and business objectives were specifically addressed by your plan. Please feel free to attach as many files as necessary (i.e., mpgs, jpgs) to support your case
Hint: Consider how the product or service developed or modified was made more relevant by your efforts: what were the precise steps taken to implement your marketing or communications plan?
Step 1: Take the complete in-house concept and commission it to an external agency for technical execution.
Step 2: Create a 360 Ben 10 Ultimate Alien campaign that combines Turner and out-of-home media including: CN spots and web, ATL/BTL mix (print, outdoor, event etc). All elements would emphasize tune-in but direct to the Comic Creator.
Step 3: Communicate the benefits to the target market; main messages:
Create your own comic strip by choosing scenes, speech bubbles and effects inspired by the series.
Upload into a gallery for viewing and voting by other visitors.
Win the publication of your comic in Cartoon Network and/or Ben 10 magazines (this was across 6 markets: Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, The Netherlands, Romania, and Russia).
Runners up to be rewarded with exclusively created line of toys supplied by the master licensee, Bandai, and not available for sell-through in store.
Step 4: Fulfil the competition by publishing the winners and rewarding runners up
Alongside step 3 and 4 we ran PR activities targeting kids’ publications as well as TV-guides, online portals and affiliate partners.
Please attached files for illustration. The attached spot is the on-air call to action urging the fans to go online and use the Comic Creator.
Financial pressures are always a reality. In these times especially, it is important to recognize how thorough analysis, strong problem solving and the clever use of resources contributed to making a plan succeed. Please provide budgetary details in your case, as our judges will need to see how available resources were most effectively used.
Hint: Consider what resources (i.e., money, manpower, technology) were used: how did these compare with those available in the past and with what the competition had to work with?
As everywhere budget is limited and even that we need to spread across 6 territories with 6 different languages to think of. By coming up with the strategy and the implementation idea within the team we saved all “creative” costs and needed only to cover the actual development of an existing idea and concept. A tight budget is no excuse for lack of creativity.
Total Marketing Budget (across 6 territories): 200k EUR
Comic Creator development fee: 40k EUR
Localization fee: 2.2 k EUR x 6
Human resources: The marketing team (5 people), the digital team (1 person + agency)
Provide details about how your strategy and implementation worked together to redress the situation. Judges will need to see cases supported by concrete results, ideally using the same parameters applied earlier when describing the situation and objective. Example: if “declining viewership” was the marketing challenge or underlying cause, explain how viewership improved.
Hint: Consider the objective: how did you know it was achieved or the business situation was resolved?
Overall this campaign was a success on all levels and a measurable one. We have achieved digital engagement, impressive ratings and a brand enhancement as well. Below is a snapshot of the results from 3 territories (similar results were achieved across the board however the data is not as comprehensive).
Since launch, B10 Ultimate Alien was the highest rating B10 franchise property.
While CN average (-6% MoM) as well as B10 Alien Force average (-19% MoM) went down since the campaign period, Ben 10 Ultimate Alien saw a 9% increase remained the strongest Ben 10 franchise property since launch (1.68 TVR) pushing the overall Ben 10 brand by 3% MoM.
Overall, Ben 10 Ultimate Alien has added value to the Ben 10 brand in terms of ratings by 3% in the first month and further 6% in the following month.
Since launch, B10 Ultimate Alien was the highest rating B10 franchise property pushing up the average for the brand as a whole.
Ben 10 Ultimate Alien has added value to the Ben 10 brand in terms of ratings by 6% in the first month and further 7% in the following month.
Slightly different (even more positive) story in Hungary - Overall, CN saw a large increase during the period under review.
The Ben 10 brand as a whole as well as every single property have also increased ratings during that period (more than CN average increase)
Ben 10 Ultimate Alien even more so in the first month after the campaign. The show has worked its way up to the highest rating Ben 10 property (with 2.84 TVR) and has added value by 1% during the campaign period and further 8% in the first month after the campaign.
On the digital front, the total unique users were over 360.000 during the 4 month of the campaign period (March-June). The same number was less then 97.000 in case of an earlier Ben 10 application, the Alien Maker. Page views were way more then double when compared: over 2.1 million in case of Comic Creator and only 800.000 for Alien Maker. The average time spent on Comic Creator was almost triple and the number of total game plays was almost half a million as compared to less than 10.000 in case of Alien maker. It must be noted that two sites (Russia, Bulgaria) did not exist at the time of the release of Alien Maker; however, the amazing results still stand. As novelty Comic Creator brought great numbers but another impressive achievement is its maintained popularity. 4 weeks after its launch it still generated over a 100.000 unique users and over half a million page views.
An additional success not even considered during strategic planning: Rolled out across 14 EMEA territories which was done at the localization cost which meant huge savings company-wise and stretched the budget even further.
PLEASE SCROLL FOR DEATILED ANALYSYS ON THREE COUNTRIES: Poland-Romania-Hungary.